All are welcome with abilities and disabilities, just as you are! Lauri Malnory and I will share a little about our family and our experiences for inclusion of our families in our faith community at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. We will share about Inclusive Ministry Church in Eau Claire. How Inclusive Ministry was formed, what a service looks like, and who participates in Inclusive Ministry Church. We will share how other churches can partner with Inclusive Ministry Church. We will also share how we are persevering during the COVID pandemic.
A little about Janet: Born and raised in west central Wisconsin, faith nurtured at Fristad Lutheran Church in Centuria, WI. Moved to the metropolis of Eau Claire, WI and made Immanuel Lutheran Church my faith home. Met and married my husband, Curt and celebrated 34 years this past June. We have 3 children Andrew, Gretchen and Tom and we are blessed to add to our family, Rachel, Andrew’s wife and Giles, Gretchen’s husband. Our youngest son Tom was born with Down Syndrome. Our family embarked on a path that included abilities, disabilities, medical needs, inclusion and exclusion. A journey that tried and strengthened our faith and our relationship with our faith community at Immanuel. With great sadness Tom’s journey was cut short by cancer, diagnosed at age 16 in 2010 and ended with his body relinquishing to the disease in 2015. His spirit lives on in everyone’s heart that met and knew him. My personal motto is “Strength and Grace”. As a family that has a child with a disability label, comes great challenges. I ask for strength for living each day as it comes to me and Grace for our family and extended Grace for those who might not understand what we encounter and endure. I also claim to know a little about a lot of things and if I don’t know the answer I know where to find it, hence I don’t have to be an expert at everything. With that being said, that is Grace for myself. I work in Caring Ministry at Immanuel facilitating Eucharistic Ministry for homebound members, calling ministry during this time of COVID, and am part of the core team for Inclusive Ministry Church in Eau Claire, and I am the manager of the Garden Shop at Down to Earth Garden Center.